Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crap I Found In the Snacks Cupboard

Sometimes I take photos intending to post something about them, then I never get around to it. A whole bunch of posts totally died when the old computer got stolen. Fortunately, we've got a snacks cupboard. I've been trying to clean it out lately, as there are some snacks in there I'm pretty sure are from Bayram 2 years ago.

First, a stray candy bar.

Or should I say Stray? The bottle cap is there for scale. It lived up to its name by tasting foul (I'm now thinking of the super smelly dog that lives on our street). Actually, the dog is quite nice but suddenly very stinky. We want to pet him and he wants to be pet but seriously, he's nauseating and I think he must have a festering skin disease somewhere. Poor guy. I noticed he got a new collar recently (he's the kind of street dog people look after because he's so nice), but no one seems to be sorting out the smell. Even if I knew what to do with a sick dog, I don't want to get too close.

The only reason I ate the candy bar was because it was a candy bar and it was there.

This one, with photo effects added by LE, is more fitting. I'd prefer dead, thank you very much.

Though perhaps an alive Stray could be trained to do tricks, it's hard to say. I just hope there's never a candy bar called Stowaway. I think it would bother me to find a Stowaway in my cupboard. There are some pizza crackers in there already making me very uncomfortable.

Yet, it's hard to express my joy at finding the Beeman's.

That's right. It's Pepto-Bismol flavored gum I brought back from the States last year and I freaking love it. Worryingly enough, it's still soft.

And that's all I'll be sharing of my cupboard today. I'll leave the rest up to your imagination. If it helps, I'll mention there's something in there that got buried way at the back. It might be those brown dried apricots that are supposed to be natural. Or it could be regular dried apricots. Or it could not be apricots at all. They made me think of this prose poem, by Carolyn Forché (1978):
The Colonel
What you have heard is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck themselves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.


A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

that was remarkably honest of you to write about the contents of your snack cupboard!!! we probably all have stuff like that lurking around ... But that prose poem is excellent - where did you find it?

Mary said...

Beeman's gum was popular when I was a child. It is amazing that it is still found in some places. I found my way here by chance but decided to explore and poke around. You've created a lovely spot for your readers to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I'll definitely be back. My husband ans I will be visiting Turkey in the fall. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Stranger said...

@ Cook, I was assigned that story several times in writing and lit classes in high school and uni. It just gets better every time, which is why I remembered it. Thanks to the Internet, it doesn't matter I lost all the paper copies I've ever had!

@Mary, I think it was my dad that turned me on to Beeman's. Same flavor as the white gum in those old, round charity gum dispensers, or pink Necco wafers. I especially love Beeman's because they've held on to the exact same packaging they must have had in the 60s. I also love that it's still called "chewing gum" on the wrapper-- it reckons back to days when "gum" could have meant other things.

Thanks for visiting!